Oh, if we only had some decent weather, this lovely post from ScS would be more fitting. Nevertheless, as summertime is just around the corner, thinking about how we can help our homes to have more of an outdoor feel, is a lovely thing to do. Enjoy!
As the last few years have shown, making the most of our outside spaces all year round isn’t really an option for us Brits. Wetter, colder winters and more unpredictable weather have meant that for much of the year, we’re shut up inside trying to protect ourselves from the elements.
What this means is that when the summer does roll around and the sun is shining, we need to make the very most of our outside spaces. With some clever and yet simple design ideas, it is possible to fuse your outside and inside spaces, blurring the lines between the two and breaking the psychological barrier we sometimes create between the interior and exterior of our homes.
ScS shows you how.
Make the most of window spaces by capturing the best views of the garden. ‘Framing’ your outside spaces and building coloured and textured views outside the windows will help to bring the natural world into your home. If you look out onto an unappealing patch of bare lawn or yard space, you are less likely to want to get out and enjoy it. Well-framed exteriors are as good as any painting or artwork on the walls.
Bring the garden in
One really simple way or merging your two spaces is to use plants and textures that can be carried across the threshold. An uninterrupted flow of greenery from the garden and into the house really helps to create the impression of a unified space. Of course, the next category makes this a reality…
Having the ability to open up a section of your walls out onto the garden is crucial for enjoying outside summer space. Large patio or folding doors means you can let air, sunshine and greenery in much more easily. It also means you can move furniture outside, further blurring the lines. A kitchen table that can be moved out through the doors and into the open air makes outdoor dining and entertaining more natural and easy.
Your choice of garden and home furniture can also help to synthesise outside and inside spaces. Create a design flow from outside to inside, with similar design motifs, colours and styles and you can create a very natural extension of your living spaces.
Using natural materials in the home is another way of creating the sensation of outside space. Obviously, wood is a popular natural material that is common in the home, being used for floors, shelving and furniture. But think about using more organic wooden materials such as driftwood and untreated wood, as well as other substances like stones, rocks or grasses. You might even consider having a green or moss wall, a vertical growing structure that attaches to the walls and creates a space-saving natural area. This is particularly good for those with little or no outside space of their own.
One of the key ways of merging the two spaces, along with framing, is to maximise the natural light that enters the home. Large windows, skylights and mirrors can all be used to increase sunlight and the amount of outside space that you can see from inside. Of course, this also includes French/patio doors as mentioned above.
Utilise what outside space you have as much as you can. It’s a great way of making your home feel more natural and at one with your environment. And here in the UK, that’s not something we get to do all that often.